Cars 2 Review: The Sequel is Here (And a Giveaway, too!)

by ChristieO

Cars “Grows Up” with Sequel Cars 2

Find out if 5m4m Contributor Christie O Recommends Cars Sequel, Cars 2, for Your Family…

Yes, the long-awaited sequel to the original Cars squeals into theaters this Friday and promises to be anything but the sweet serenity of the quiet Radiator Springs that was delivered in the first lap.

Truth be told, while some of us may miss that calm simplicity, especially for the littler Cars fans, others might say “Hasta la vista!” while waving to it in the rearview mirror.

The Plot

Cars 2 starts out in the middle of the ocean on the Alaskan crab boat the Northwestern, made famous by the Discovery series The Deadliest Catch and honestly the water looks so real you might actually think you are watching The Deadliest Catch for a second. That is, until the boat starts talking. Voiced by the crab fisherman himself, Captain Sig Hansen, it’s just one of the many clever little additions sprinkled throughout the movie that you’ll miss if you’re not looking for it.


What happens next is a scene straight out of James Bond – undercover spy car (Michael Caine) takes pictures of new secret weapon, spy gets caught, chase ensues followed by shooting, explosions, a faked car death, and voila! Off to the once abandoned, now bustling Radiator Springs with our tow truck buddy Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) – with the action already set in motion half a world away.


Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), freshly home and ready for some relaxation after winning 4 Piston Cups, gets talked into racing once again and before they know it, McQueen’s racing team is jet-setting across three continents toward races that take place in Tokyo, Italy and London. While Lightning McQueen is the star of the international speedways, it’s Mater who becomes the unsuspecting star of this flick when he accidentally collides with this new spy world in a Tokyo bathroom. Mater’s small-town naivety and charm makes for some hilarity as he finds himself in unfamiliar territory – encountering things like a bidet for the first time and figuring out that a pile of wasabi is not pistachio ice cream.

The Detail

The Disney Pixar crew went through great lengths to reflect the details of the race locations by traveling to each destination, researching them, and “car-ifying” them for the big screen. Their work shows through from the cobblestone alleys of Italy to the Eiffel Tower topped by a spark plug and the overcast weather in London. The 3D effects amplify the detail beautifully creating the truly spectacular and vivid animation that Pixar is known for.

The Characters

Most of the characters from Radiator Springs make it into the sequel (Lightning pays homage to the late Doc Hudson voiced by Paul Newman who passed away in 2008), and we get to meet a couple of new characters including the brainchild of Disney Pixar chief John Lasseter, the master British spy car Finn McMissile.
Rookie spy Holly Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) joins the action this go-round (it’s nice to see Mater with a potential love interest, too) and the trio find themselves in a race of their own to foil a plot by the evil “Professor Z” (Thomas Kretschmann) who is trying to sabotage the World Grand Prix. The dueling plot of the movie is Mater and Lightning’s friendship and how it will survive the adventure and turmoil outside the safety net of Radiator Springs, a message that tends to take a backseat to all the action.

In Sum…

It’s hard to not be wowed by all the spy gadgetry, the exotic cars, the weapons, shooting and the explosions (it really is pretty cool). However, parents, be forewarned: the violence in Cars 2 might be a little heavy for the tinier Cars fans. There is one scene in particular where the secret weapon in question is “tested out” on one of the captured spy cars that might be considered disturbing for some of the younger movie goers.

While the original Cars movie is often branded the weakest of the Pixar films, it was both my sons’ first animated film and we loved it. So much so, in fact, we’ve had to replace the DVD due to overuse and we were over the moon excited and waiting with bated breath for the arrival of Cars 2.

I was a little saddened to see the innocence of Radiator Springs become a casualty of the sequel; it felt like my tiny little Cars child grew up, moved on to bigger and better things and doesn’t like to snuggle anymore. But Pixar did hit the nail on the head with the target audience of ages 7 – 12. No doubt that this animated spy movie taps into both adults’ and children’s inner international spy and car fanatic and will have young boys and dads fist pumping across the country.


Cars fans, start your engines! We’re giving away a Cars 2 prizepack that your little racer is sure to fall in love with! The prize pack includes:
-A CARS 2 T-shirt in youth size M
-A CARS 2 set of 3 bumper tickets
-A CARS 2 temporary tattoo sheet
-A CARS 2 puzzle

Just be sure to leave a comment below! Giveaway ends on Tuesday June 28th at Midnight Est. and the winner will be announced shortly after that. Good luck!

Please see our site’s terms and conditions for more information.

Other posts about the Cars 2 Premiere/Disney Dreamworks Event:

Written by 5 Minutes For Mom Guest Contributor, Christie O

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Disclosure: Disney paid Christie’s expenses for the press junket in LA. The opinions expressed are Christie’s.

Email Author    |    Website About ChristieO

A mom to two, former news producer turned freelance writer, runner and wanna be triathlete, trying to enjoy every moment of all of it!

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joanna June 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I’m so excited to take my boys to see this!


2 Mrs. Wonder June 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Thanks for the review! My son’s friends (all about age 2) ADORE Cars, wether or not they’ve actually seen the movie or any of Mater’s shorts.
I’m disappointed that you’re recommending it for 7-12 but thanks for the heads up on that scene- we turned on monster trucks a few nights ago and my son cried when a truck flipped over,(I guess I have a caring kid!) so I’m sure that scene would make him cry too.


3 Amber June 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

We’ve been counting down the days in our house! Thanks for a fun giveaway!


4 Rebecca June 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Awesome giveaway!! My son would love to win and can’t wait to see the movie!


5 Kristie June 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm

My son would think this is great! Thanks for the chance to win! :-)


6 Linda Stewart June 22, 2011 at 1:52 pm

We’re planning to see Cars 2 this weekend at the Drive-In Theater. Will be a first time adventure for not only the boys but for my daughter also (She’s 26!)


7 Sarah at themommylogues June 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Wow, am I the only one with girls who LOVED Cars? It’s still a hit here. They can’t wait for the next one!


8 Red Lotus Mama June 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm

My daughter and I can’t wait to see Cars 2! She sported a Lightening McQueen temporary tattoo from the SD County Fair for a week.


9 Alethea June 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

We are planning to see this during our vacation. My little man is so excited!


10 Becky June 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Great giveaway! My boys are very excited to go see this movie.


11 Jessica Steele June 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

OHH my lil guys would LOVE THIS!!!! We cant wait to go see this movie this weekend!!!


12 S Club Mama June 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Oh my gosh, my little guy would LOVE this prize package. …but now I’m wondering if taking him to the movie is a good idea…I think it will be ok. He’s never been scared by a movie before. hmmm


13 AnnG June 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

We are very excited to see the movie and I’m sure my son would LOVE to have some Cars2 goodies!!


14 Taryn June 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I CANNOT wait to take my 3 year old daughter Tenlee to this movie!! I wonder if mommy can score a hot date to take with! ;-)


15 HappyMomC June 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Would love to win!


16 Beth June 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

We are so excited. My son is turning two next week so we are going to see it to celebrate!


17 Stacie June 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I would love to win! Now a little worried about taking my 4 yr old…


18 nan June 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm

my nephew can’t wait to see it
nannypanpan at


19 Heather Erbe June 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm

My sons would love to win. Thanks for the heads up on the violence. I have a 4 year old that might be scared by it.


20 Mary June 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm

My 3 boys, 6,5 and 3 cannot wait!


21 tennille June 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm

the moms are all talking about this movie!!! we are planning a date with our little men!


22 Elena June 22, 2011 at 10:52 pm

My son loves CARS! Thank you for the giveaway!


23 Barbara Manatee June 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm

I am taking one of my 4 yr old twins on a ‘date day’ next Monday and am thinking about offering this movie up as an option. I know his sister will be jealous, but I’ll be sure to take her another day!

Thanks for the chance to win!


24 Becky June 22, 2011 at 11:06 pm

How fun. My boys are huge fans. Can’t wait to see the movie. Thanks


25 Deb June 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Love “Cars” and love free things, thanks for the contest!


26 LaVonne June 23, 2011 at 4:14 am

How fun! Thanks for the chance to win.


27 christieo June 29, 2011 at 8:05 am

Hi LaVonne! This is Christie O. from 5 Minutes for Mom, you won Cars 2 the giveaway! Can you email me your mailing address? Congratulations!


28 christieo June 29, 2011 at 8:06 am

Hi LaVonne! This is Christie O. from 5 Minutes for Mom, you won the CARS 2 giveaway! Can you email me your mailing address? Congratulations!


29 christieo June 29, 2011 at 8:07 am

Hi LaVonne! This is Christie O. from 5 Minutes for Mom, you won the CARS 2giveaway! Can you email me your mailing address? Congratulations!


30 beth June 23, 2011 at 7:19 am

cant wait


31 Kathy Stevenson June 23, 2011 at 7:22 am

My kids cannot wait to see the movie!


32 chinecar June 23, 2011 at 7:23 am

oh wait when the movie appear treylir


33 Heidi June 23, 2011 at 7:56 am

My 5 year old son is literally counting the days! He’d love to win!


34 razvarka June 23, 2011 at 8:28 am
35 Ruth Hill June 23, 2011 at 9:23 am

My daughter is a huge Cars fan! Please enter me.


36 CaroleM June 23, 2011 at 9:29 am

this is the 2nd review I’ve read that says not good for smaller viewers – which is too bad! But my little guy is a huge Cars fan! So we’ll see!


37 Courtney June 23, 2011 at 9:32 am

My middle son has been the biggest Cars fan since he was 1 and saw the first movie. He has owned every car, racetrack, and clothing item ever made. Now we are starting on the Cars 2 stuff. This would save us a few dollars and make his day!!!!!!


38 saly June 23, 2011 at 10:20 am

My 7yo son is a cars fanatic!! He would love this prize!!


39 tess June 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

i’m taking off of work -just to take my son to see cars 2
tcogbill at live dot com


40 Pauline M June 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm

This is going to be my “just turned” 3 year olds very first big screen movie. Since he is such a huge fan, I’m hoping he’ll love it!


41 Mary H June 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm

We revisited the original Cars movie just to refresh our memories in preparation for this next go around. My children are older now but still enjoy the first one, and I think this next one will be just right.


42 paige June 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm

everything is just vrooooooom tastic in my house. please enter me….


43 Kelli June 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Sounds fun! Would love to win!


44 Natalia June 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm

This is such a great giveaway! Thanks!


45 John D. June 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm

My son loves Cars.


46 Angelique June 23, 2011 at 11:37 pm

We’re celebrating my son’s 4th birthday on Saturday by taking a group of kids and our family to see Cars 2. My son (and his siblings!) would LOVE this prize pack!


47 vickie couturier June 24, 2011 at 7:00 am

I have 3 little grandsons who just love this movie an cant wait to see this new one


48 Terra Heck June 24, 2011 at 7:15 am

My whole family is excited to see this. Thanks.


49 Diane June 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I’m looking forward to taking our toddler to see the movie as well. He loves cars.


50 Maureen June 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Oh my gosh, my boys would LOVE this. They are so excited to see this movie. Thanks, Maureen (jnomaxx at hotmail dot com)


51 Wehaf June 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm

My niece and nephews are big fans!


52 Michele June 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

We love Cars and giveaways too! I am sad to read the review…why can’t cartoons be innocent for all ages?? It’s nice to have a heads up so we can cover eyes or go to the bathroom at the right moments. Thanks!


53 Gem June 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I’ve been wanting a sequel to come eversince we watched cars 1. We are so excited that they really made cars 2, my son cant wait for it!


54 Jennifer June 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I can’t wait to watch this movie. We hope to see it in 3D tomorrow. Thanks for the great giveaway.


55 Alice.smshindi July 1, 2011 at 3:28 am

I too can’t wait.. very curious to see this movie.


56 jennifer segara June 24, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Thanks for this giveaway! Can’t wait to see this movie =)


57 Staci A June 24, 2011 at 10:35 pm

We can’t wait to see this! We’re planning to catch it at the drive-in this weekend and my son is so excited!


58 Jeannie June 25, 2011 at 11:55 am

We’ve had a rainy June, so we are looking forward to taking our kids to the movies! Pixar, you make me happy.


59 Gilda June 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

We just saw it last night. We loved it! My son would love to win this.


60 Nonvegjokes July 1, 2011 at 3:29 am

Wow, great you have watched this movie.. How was it?


61 Jessica June 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm

My son wants to see this movie! He loves Mater!


62 Anna June 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Can’t wait to see this movie! I’ve got two boys that would flip if we won this giveaway.


63 icefairy June 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm

My son would love this. Thanks for the chance to win!


64 Linda Kish June 25, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Sounds great! Count me in, please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


65 Jennifer June 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm

We love Cars! And Mater is our favorite! Can’t wait to see Cars 2!


66 Mama Zen June 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm

My daughter is looking forward to it!


67 Athena June 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm

We just saw the movie today! It was a big hit.


68 car2 June 27, 2011 at 12:29 am

I never get to sleep in, oh well got some training to do, then taking my sons to see Cars 2!

Cars 2 Toys Your Kids Will Love

Get CARS 2 10Pack Deluxe Figurine Playset


69 Jessica T June 27, 2011 at 12:58 am

My kids would love this!!!


70 Mia Dentice Carey June 27, 2011 at 2:31 am

Soooooo COOL!!!! Can’t wait to see CARS 2!!! =)


71 Alison S. June 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm

We just went to see this yesterday with our son and nephew. Both of them are Cars crazy. :)


72 melissa barker June 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I hope to take the kids sometime this week! I would love to win, thanks


73 Sarann June 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm

We took our 2.5 year old to see it this weekend, and it was very violent. Luckily he didn’t seem to phased by is since I don’t think he fully comprehended the scenes where cars were being destroyed. It had some really funny parts to it too.


74 Lisa L June 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Looks like a fun family movies..we’ll be seeing it this weekend!


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